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China, Pakistan ink trade, border agreements

May 22, 2013 23:49 IST

Pakistan and China on Wednesday inked several agreements and memoranda of understanding, including a pact on a system to manage the border between the Xinjiang autonomous region and Gilgit-Baltistan area.

President Asif Ali Zardari and visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing of the agreements by representatives of the two countries during a ceremony at the presidency.

Others agreements covered an economic corridor plan, maritime cooperation and satellite navigation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani signed the Agreement on Boundary Management System between Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan, a MoU on maritime cooperation and an agreement on border ports and their management system.

Gilgit-Baltistan was earlier known as the Northern Areas and is part of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir.

A MoU on cooperation on long-term economic corridor was inked by Xu Shao Shi, chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, advisor to the prime minister.

China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and Pakistan's Economic Affairs Secretary Shahzad Arbab signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation and a certificate for the handing over of a seismographic network.

A MoU on cooperation in marine science and technology was signed by China’s State Oceanic Administration and Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

An agreement was also signed by China Satellite Navigation Office and Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.

An agreement on establishing the Confucius Institute at Karachi University was signed by Xu Lin, Head of the National Office for Chinese language, and Muhammad Qaiser, Vice Chancellor of Karachi University.

Other documents that were signed included an annual blister purchase contract and a greige fabric contract.

During a press meet with Li, Zardari said the MoUs and agreements signed by the two sides are aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations and improving the wellbeing of the people.

"Both our countries are determined to achieve the bilateral trade target of 15 billion dollars by 2015," he said.

"We have agreed to speed up work on projects identified under the Five Year Development Programme. We have also decided to press ahead with the second phase of negotiations on the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement," he said.

Zardari further said the two countries believed that "terrorism, separatism and extremism pose serious threats to regional peace, stability and security".

The two sides had reiterated their resolve to continue cooperation in "combating these evil forces," he added.

Rezaul H Laskar In Islamabad
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